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Can you really enjoy retirement if it was someone else's decision?
Old 12-12-2016, 11:37 AM   #1
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Can you really enjoy retirement if it was someone else's decision?

My friends and relatives who really enjoy retirement the most are people who leave the workforce after a long and successful career and do it on the date of their choosing.

They feel proud of their career and life accomplishments, have a nice retirement party at work, get all kinds of compliments about how great they are and feel like they really added value to their employer and profession.

Other friends and relatives who are retired are bitter, bored and frustrated. Their employer kicked them out without any warning or praise. Their ex coworkers ignore social offers and they felt they still had things to offer the workforce, but employers disagreed.

Could you enjoy your retirement if you were pushed out before you were ready, even if you had enough money to retire and were over 60?
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:40 AM   #2
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Personally, I could enjoy it. How you approach life, your happiness, etc... are largely part of your attitude and how you *choose* to deal with what life gives you.

If you're laid off... you can whine and play the victim... or you can look for the positive.

The ones who are unhappy are choosing to focus on the negative and be unhappy.
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:44 AM   #3
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Why would a retirement party, co-worker relationships, and praise make anything other than a very transitory difference?

DW and I both have given plenty of notice, but don't expect any of that. We've rarely socialized with co-workers, as we prefer keeping that part of life apart from the rest of things to the extent possible.

Of course, if you don't have the money to retire (alluded to in your other post), or aren't psychologically ready for it, it is a different story.
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:45 AM   #4
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I would dearly love for my employer to lay me off if advantageous to me.
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:52 AM   #5
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I thought that. I didn't want to be riffed and wasn't. Today, three and a half years later, it would not matter. I actually wish I had been, the package was pretty good. Unfortunately Megacorp had no plan to allow folks to volunteer.
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:54 AM   #6
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I was hoping my employer would boot me out with benefits but I had to wait until I was 56 to go. I've somehow managed to enjoy my retirement and it keeps getting better every year.

I think the key is having good health and enough resources to retire on without having to worry about running out of money. After that the world is our oyster and every day is a blessing!

Today is off to shop for items for a migrant shelter. Tomorrow is yoga and dinner at a friends house. Wed. is driving the goods to the shelter and unloading the items. Thursday is taking a friend in for cataract surgery... I don't know how I had time to work.

-helen
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:05 PM   #7
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Nothing is stopping these laid off folks from finding other work.
Possibly for some, a big problem is they identified with work allowing it to define themselves. Once the work is gone, so is a large part of their identity.

While the idea of retirement announcement and a retirement party could ease the transition, it won't help folks who didn't plan on retirement. Lots folks who retire "properly" are bored/bitter, get new jobs, commit suicide, etc because they lost some identity.
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiting For Pension View Post
My friends and relatives who really enjoy retirement the most are people who leave the workforce after a long and successful career and do it on the date of their choosing.

They feel proud of their career and life accomplishments, have a nice retirement party at work, get all kinds of compliments about how great they are and feel like they really added value to their employer and profession.

Other friends and relatives who are retired are bitter, bored and frustrated. Their employer kicked them out without any warning or praise. Their ex coworkers ignore social offers and they felt they still had things to offer the workforce, but employers disagreed.
Looks to me like you need a larger sample size to prove/disprove what appears to be a generalization. There are many people on this board who don't fit what you describe.
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:10 PM   #9
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Getting laid off from my career IT job of nearly 26 years, when I was 47, was the second best thing that ever happened to me.
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi View Post
Personally, I could enjoy it. How you approach life, your happiness, etc... are largely part of your attitude and how you *choose* to deal with what life gives you.

If you're laid off... you can whine and play the victim... or you can look for the positive.

The ones who are unhappy are choosing to focus on the negative and be unhappy.
Couldn't have said it better.


Edit: Deleted the rest. This guy sounds exactly like the troll "Forced to Retire", and I'm not playing that game again.
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:20 PM   #11
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I'd planned to retire at 65 and left 4 years early due to toxic politics. VERY good decision. I'm 63 now. DH died last month after a slow decline due to polycythemia and rapid progression of acute myeloid leukemia diagnosed in July. I don't know how I would have handled caregiver responsibilities if I'd been employed. Last week I returned from the city 3 hours away where my son and his family live- I was there for a week after the birth of their new baby and was able to hold down the fort with her 2-year old sister when her parents needed a rest. ER allowed me more time with DH after I left- many good trips and good memories. It's given me a lot more options.

It's easy for me to separate my feelings about the crappy job environment and about the benefits of getting out earlier than expected. I'll never say, "they did me a favor"- they didn't. I just took their lemons and made them into lemonade and I take full credit for that.
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi View Post
Personally, I could enjoy it. How you approach life, your happiness, etc... are largely part of your attitude and how you *choose* to deal with what life gives you.

If you're laid off... you can whine and play the victim... or you can look for the positive.

The ones who are unhappy are choosing to focus on the negative and be unhappy.
Well said, totally agree. It's called "making lemonade when life gives you lemons".
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:33 PM   #13
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There is no correct answer to this. Research shows: those with defined benefit plans are generally happier in retirement than those without; those who retired on their own terms and timeline are generally happier in retirement than those who did not; and those who enjoy good health are happier in retirement than those who do not.

In life, it's not what happens to you it's your reaction to it. OTOH, there just some "happenings" I'd rather not happen and do my best to avoid. When considering an action, any action, as Charlie Munger says, "Invert, always invert." The worst possible consequences, to include unintended consequences, tend to show up at the worst possible times. See this: https://25iq.com/2015/09/12/a-dozen-...-not-stupid-2/

Much pain and misery in life can be avoided or at least minimized (e.g., unexpected layoffs) through preparation and a proper thinking framework from which to make life decisions. Along those lines, I highly recommend this site: https://www.farnamstreetblog.com/mental-models/
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi View Post
Personally, I could enjoy it. How you approach life, your happiness, etc... are largely part of your attitude and how you *choose* to deal with what life gives you.

If you're laid off... you can whine and play the victim... or you can look for the positive.

The ones who are unhappy are choosing to focus on the negative and be unhappy.
+1 on that!
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:45 PM   #15
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It might make it easier on some folks, by removing the nagging concern they may have had over whether to OMY it or not.
Some people are happier when they don't have to make difficult decisions.
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Old 12-12-2016, 01:16 PM   #16
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Did you notice that the Broadcaster Vin Scully retired this fall? He was 89 years old and had been in broadcasting for 67 years and left on the top of his game. When he retired he was so proud of the work he had done and society agreed. That would be the model lots of people who retired would have enjoyed.
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Old 12-12-2016, 01:19 PM   #17
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To answer the question of other posters.

I am alone, no spouse or children. Moving would be a logical option but I have tons of friends in overpriced WDC and would hate to move to cheap place where I am all alone.
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Old 12-12-2016, 02:00 PM   #18
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I'm calling Troll - See prior threads started by Forced To Retire, ultimately determined by moderators to be a Troll. Story here, and on other thread OP started sound awfully familiar . . .
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Old 12-12-2016, 02:05 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Waiting For Pension View Post
My friends and relatives who really enjoy retirement the most are people who leave the workforce after a long and successful career and do it on the date of their choosing.

They feel proud of their career and life accomplishments, have a nice retirement party at work, get all kinds of compliments about how great they are and feel like they really added value to their employer and profession.

Other friends and relatives who are retired are bitter, bored and frustrated. Their employer kicked them out without any warning or praise. Their ex coworkers ignore social offers and they felt they still had things to offer the workforce, but employers disagreed.

Could you enjoy your retirement if you were pushed out before you were ready, even if you had enough money to retire and were over 60?
I don't need a party (I will party with my friends.) I don't need compliments or praise - I already know the contributions I have made over 20+ years in my job.

All I need is for the first pension check to hit the bank a month after I leave, and I will never look back.

I agree with other posters - choosing to stay in one of the highest cost of living areas is a choice - only you can decide if it is worth the literal cost you are paying.
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Old 12-12-2016, 02:07 PM   #20
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It took me about a day to get over being fired (all lower cases) and realize I'm financially and 90% mentally ready to be early retired. Six months later I'd say the number went to 99% and now it's 99.9% (still holding out hope there's some theoretical job that would entice me back to the workforce ).

So yes, I still think you can enjoy retirement even if you don't leave on your own terms.

That comes with the caveat that it will be much harder if your identity is wrapped up in your occupation. For me, analyzing/designing/building new parking lots and roads held little intrinsic reward and I transitioned to successfully doing nothing all day.

It also comes down to a question of self confidence. If you measure your own self worth by what others think about you (external validation) then you're going to suffer when you don't have coworkers and an employer that you think need you all the time. Yes, somehow some way they will muddle through life after you depart.
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